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Research Consortium Advances Understanding of Cervical Spine Injuries in Children Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes
Date:8/24/2009

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New research published this month in the journal Injury finds that while fatal cervical spine injuries to children in motor vehicle crashes are rare, they are more commonly seen in girls, in children who were restrained in passenger restraints, and in children who also suffered traumatic brain injury due to the crash.

Researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, The University of Pennsylvania and Ohio State University Medical Center studied 6,065 children younger than 16 years old and found that only 2.9% of the fatalities involved a cervical spine injury. "This research confirms that cervical spine injuries are no more common in fatal crashes than they are in non-fatal crashes involving children," explained Michael Nance, M.D., Director of the Pediatric Trauma Program at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a co-author of the study. "Interestingly, we found no association between fatal cervical spine injuries and vehicle type or model year, the speed or direction of the collision impact, or the child's age or seating position when the crash occurred."

This study represents the first time a research team has used a linked version of two previously independent data sets from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to enable in-depth analysis of the relationship between crash characteristics such as speed or vehicle type, and type of injury (including CSI) for fatally injured children. The two large national mortality databases used were the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and Multiple Cause-of-Death (MCOD) datasets.

"Being able to use this merged set of data allowed us to study relatively rare injuries in larger numbers," said Nance. "For the vast majority of crashes, vehicle and child restraints reduce the risk of death and mo
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SOURCE The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
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